Known for its incomparable beauty and for catering to a range of lifestyle options, Ireland is an attractive destination for expats looking to put down roots abroad. Whether buyers want a home on the coast, in the countryside, or a city, there are various stunning locations to choose from. Keep reading to discover the top places to live in Ireland: we selected the best options for families and retirees, start-up founders and digital nomads in the quest for a relaxing daily life.
After all, as many visitors to Eire discover, the Irish way is about as easy-going as it gets. So, let’s take a closer look at
The best places to live in Ireland as an expat
1. Dublin: Dalkey and Killiney Bay
Dublin is, without doubt, one of the best places to live in Ireland for Americans who cannot do without the mod cons and nightlife of the big city. For that reason, it’s also is one of the most desirable places to live in Ireland for young professionals.
It’s in the suburbs that the green hills of Dublin beckon to the soul. Dalkey and Killiney Bay are among the most popular of the city’s outer suburbs. In addition to the art galleries, theatres and top restaurants that Dublin is famous for, expats can enjoy its charming markets, quaint pubs, windswept beaches, beautiful golf clubs, and the historic attractions of ancient east Dublin.
2. Skerries, County Dublin
A mere 15 miles from Dublin, Skerries is one of the most attractive seaside towns in County Dublin, if not all of Ireland. Like many coastal places, the attraction is not only down to the beautiful homes and incredible location. Skerries is also a favorite destination with locals and expats because of the people who live there.
As far as lifestyle options go, Skerries is perfect for anyone looking for a quiet life by the sea. Its beaches, islands and coves beckon to be explored, and there are plenty of restaurants and pubs to quell hunger and quench thirst. The town is home to several popular annual festivals too, making it a hive of activity.
Homes for sale in County Dublin
3. Malahide, County Dublin
Known for being a more affluent village in County Dublin, Malahide is one of the top places to live in Ireland for retirees from the US and elsewhere. Its neighborhoods are leafy and peaceful, but that doesn’t mean it’s a sleepy hollow. Far from it, because Malahide is the east coast’s foodie capital.
Other than indulging in what the village’s restaurants, bistros, and cafes have to offer, there are leisure options such as walking on the picturesque beaches or the Broadmeadows Estuary and exploring Malahide Castle.
4. Skibbereen, County Cork
Located in County Cork, Skibbereen is one of the best places to live and work in Ireland for anyone who enjoys color and quirkiness alongside breathtaking natural beauty. The town has much to offer by way of lifestyle options.
Mapped walks let walkers explore Skibbereen’s architectural and natural heritage, while the beaches offer splendid sunbathing in summer. Other attractions include the islands and a circle of megaliths near the town. One of the best places to live in southern Ireland, the town also hosts food festivals, walking festivals, and other events.
5. Kinsale, County Cork
Another County Cork town, Kinsale is one of the most popular places to live in Ireland for expats. Often thought of as a fishing town, its history has seen it function as an important harbor and as a battleground.
Kinsale is located at the mouth of the River Bandon, an area that is famed for its beauty. Among the town’s other lifestyle offerings are golf courses, yachting, and angling, as well as art galleries, award-winning restaurants, and gourmet food festivals. The town is one of the best places to live in Ireland for quality of life, and it is the southern end of the Wild Atlantic Way Trail, one of Ireland’s most popular road trips.
6. Cork, County Cork
As the country’s second-largest city, Cork is one of the best places to live in Ireland for families. As it’s a large city, there’s no escaping real life. There are top schools, excellent medical facilities, all the shops anyone could want, and an array of lifestyle options. Even so, nature is never far away.
The city center is on an island between two channels of the River Lee. The channels meet downstream, before the river enters one of the world’s largest natural harbors. As can be expected, the city offers a variety of attractions and activities, but it is particularly well-known for its many sports clubs.
Homes for sale in County Wicklow
7. Greystones, County Wicklow
Once voted as the top place to live in the world, Greystones definitely is one of the best places to live in Ireland. The village is in northern County Wicklow, which puts it in easy distance of Dublin and Wexford.
The quaint appearance of Greystones belies the fact that it is a busy little place. It boasts a redeveloped waterfront and harbor, top restaurants, and two beaches. Its location also makes it perfect for anyone looking for a spot with mountains and snow.
8. Galway, County Galway
The city with the highest percentage of single people, Galway in County Galway is one of the top places for singles to live in Ireland. With some of the finest eateries, pubs, and live entertainment venues in its charming West End, many also consider it to be the best place to live in the west.
Famous for being one of the Irish foodie capitals, Galway is home to not one but two Michelin-star restaurants. There are endless opportunities for sightseeing outside the city, and with six blue flag beaches, the landscapes of Connemara, the magical Aran Islands and numerous local markets, there’s plenty for everyone to do.
9. Ennis, County Clar
A traditional boutique town, Ennis is one of the best places to live in Ireland. It has the look and feel of typical rural places, but it’s only 12 miles from Shannon Airport, which makes it quite accessible.
The County Clare town is a wonderful option for buyers looking for a laid-back lifestyle. There’s no shortage of green, open spaces and historical sites to explore, and there are various sports clubs as well as a golf club that was founded in 1907.
10. Westport, County Mayo
Located in County Mayo, Westport has been named as one of the best places to live in Ireland in numerous surveys conducted in the country. The town is well-known for fostering a warm and caring community spirit, and for its quaint stone bridges and inspiring views of Clew Bay.
Westport is a wonderful place to live in Ireland with family. Apart from its friendly community, it offers a range of activities and sports, a busy nightlife, and open fields and beaches that lend themselves to quietude, reflection, and relaxation.
No matter what you’re looking for, Ireland offers something for everyone and it’s sure to offer you a warm welcome too.